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  • Matthew & Kata

The UK, Riverford And ÖMKI

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

In February I travelled for a week to the UK (Matthew) - unfortunately returning home to be ill, and bring the rest of the family down with me. This means having to turn inward - blind to the slow change in season, rather focused on imagining the longer term future of the garden. It felt fortunate then this week, to have a visit to Zsámboki Biokert by Guy Singh-Watson, and his wife Geetie. Guy established and led for many years Riverford Farms, the UK's largest and most successful vegetable box system. Like us, Riverford Farms can provide year around vegetables and fruit by working together with other organic growers to provide greater choice - the difference being that the Riverford Box system is several hundred times larger than the Zsámboki Biokert box system. It was good though to be able to walk around the farm and discuss how things work and how things could develop, and just to benefit from a few simple words of wisdom gained from a lifetimes work of developing a successful large business. One of Guy's successes has been in the last years to "give away" a large share of his company to his employees, so that company now operates as an employee-owned enterprise.

On Tuesday we were part of a panel discussion on local seasonal organic food at the ÖMKI conference on Organic Farming in Kecskemét. It was good to see this even so well attended (500-600 people), and see that despite barriers, the organic food and farming movement is moving forward in Hungary.

Geetie, Guy Singh-Watson and Matthew in the propagation tunnel

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